RICS call for evidence


The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is seeking views and evidence from commercial property professionals on the impact of Empty Property Rates. 

This call for evidence follows widespread criticism of the tax on empty commercial property. RICS, along with national property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH), has launched a questionnaire to gather a wide range of examples of how the tax is affecting businesses. The information obtained will be published in an RICS and LSH report later this year.

The survey will examine respondents’ views and examples of the impact on business, prevention or delay to development or regeneration, and regional differences in the effects of the tax.

RICS Policy Officer Nadia Nath-Varma commented: “Many of our members have given us their views on Empty Property Rates and we think it is essential to gather the facts from those who own, manage and occupy commercial property to help inform future decisions in this area.  We are looking to understand both the short term impact and potential long-term effect this tax regime is having on the sector, especially at this very difficult time for the property market.”

 Lambert Smith Hampton’s national Rating Director, Richard Wackett, commented: “The change in empty rate liability has had unexpected and sometimes profound effects on property.  We believe that the Government should assess the impact of this legislation and our aim is to assist with hard facts. Through the RICS and LSH Survey we aim to capture the property industry’s view and document the results.”

The questionnaire will be open for anyone and will be available online until Friday February 20.